“India is the 2nd largest producer of cotton in the world. Since 1995 there have been over 270,000 suicides amongst cotton farmers. With crippling increases in input costs, a low minimum support price from the Government, heavily subsidized US cotton – which has flooded the global market bringing prices down. Add to that the impact of climate change, and the result: Indian cotton farmers are now involved in the largest wave of suicides in history. Sinking into a spiral of debt, they take out loans from the bank to cover the increasing costs of Bt seeds, when the crops fail due to a poor monsoon (a likely event given Bt cotton is design for use in irrigated fields) the farmer turns to an unregulated moneylender who charges extremely high rates of interest, a second crop failure or a low performing crop can send the farmer so deep in debt he feels he has no option but suicide.”

The Dying Fields by Lynda Laird (1/4)

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